Cutting a 55-in.-dia. opening into concrete is hardly rocket science. But when it’s the concrete shell of a huge underground tank that’s been storing highly-radioactive plutonium waste for more than 60 years, the cutaway could be a doorway to the unknown. Photo: Courtesy of WRPS Matt Landon, a contractor engineer at Hanford, measures the progress of a concrete cutting tool during a test on a simulated underground waste tank dome. Related Links: Video: Closing the Radioactive Spent Fuel K Basins at Hanford At month’s end, however, a U.S. Dept. of Energy contractor’s crew at the Hanford nuclear waste cleanup site
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.